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RELEASE: CAP Experts Analyze Historic Supreme Court Rulings on DOMA and Prop 8

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Contact: Anne Shoup
Phone: 202.481.7146

Washington, D.C. — Today the Center for American Progress released several products reacting to the Supreme Court rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act case, United States v. Windsor, and California’s Proposition 8 case, Hollingsworth v. Perry.

Today’s rulings affirm that all loving and committed couples who marry deserve equal respect and treatment under the law. They also affirm that fundamental freedoms such as the freedom to marry should never be stripped away by popular vote. In short, today represents an enormous win for same-sex couples and for equal justice under the law.

The column “2 Victories for Marriage Equality at the Supreme Court” explains the two rulings and explores potential implications.  In Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court held that the proponents of Proposition 8 didn’t have standing to defend the marriage ban in court, thus leaving a lower federal court ruling invalidating the ban in California in place, meaning that marriage equality will soon come to the Golden State.

In United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court held that DOMA is unconstitutional, as a violation of equal protection under the law. The majority of justices recognized that DOMA’s sole purpose and effect are to impose a separate and disadvantaged status on couples entering into same-sex marriages. They ruled that for all legally married couples, including same-sex couples, the federal government cannot discriminate against them for the purposes of conferring more than 1,000 benefits.

The “After DOMA: What It Means for You” LGBT Organizations Fact Sheet Series details many of the ways federal agencies accord legal respect to married same-sex couples. The guide includes 14 fact sheets on the following topics: bankruptcy; Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA; federal employee benefits; Family Medical Leave Act, or FMLA; immigration; Medicaid; Medicare; military spousal benefits; private employment benefits; Social Security; Supplemental Security Income; taxes; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF; and veteran spousal benefits.

The column “What the DOMA Decision Means for LGBT Binational Couples” explains that among the many policy implications resulting from the decision, the repeal will permit legally married LGBT U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, or LPRs, to sponsor their foreign-born spouses for green cards. While today’s decision is a good first step that provides hope for a future together for an estimated 24,700 same-sex binational couples, there are still 11 million undocumented immigrants, including more than 267,000 LGBT immigrants and their family members that are in dire need of relief.

Relevant resources:

CAP experts available for comment:

The following legal, political, and LGBT policy experts from the Center for American Progress are available for comment:

To speak with a CAP expert, please contact Anne Shoup at or 202.481.7146.


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